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French expression of the day: Se prendre une cuite

It’s something we all occasionally do on a Friday.

French expression of the day: Se prendre une cuite
Photo: Annie Spratt/Unsplash/Nicolas Raymond

Why do I need to know se prendre une cuite?

French people tend to use a whole range of expressions daily that you would never learn in a classroom.

That's why, as staunch readers of this column will know, we at The Local take your French slang language education very seriously. 

Here's another one to add to your vocabulary.

What does it mean?

Se prendre une cuite is a common French way of saying you are, have been or are planning on getting irresponsibly drunk.

On se prend une cuite ce soir! – Let's get wasted tonight!

Je me suis pris une grosse cuite ce week-end, je suis mort – I got so smashed this weekend, I'm dying.

Ca faisait longtemps qu'elle ne s'était pas prise une telle cuite  – She hadn't been that hammered in a long time.

READ ALSO: Seven phrases to help you fit in on a night out in France

You might have guessed it already, but se prendre une cuite has a link to the word cuisson ('cook'), so slightly similar to saying got 'toasted' as a synonym for drunkenness.


While Brits may be the kings and queens of binge drinking, getting drunk à la française offers a whole lot more of linguistic variation.

The list of expressions is seemingly never-ending. Topito, a French website, has gathered no less than 35 different ways of 'getting hammered' in French. 

Se boire la gueulle is perhaps one of the most common ways, but s'éclater la tronche, s'arracher la face, se prendre une caisse or se la coller, are other classics.

Beware that these are all very colloquial, so if you are getting drunk with the boss, you might want to stick with j'ai trop bu – 'I had too much to drink'.
Alternatively, just drink enough water to not need this article at all.

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For members


French Expression of the Day: Ça tape

The long-range forecast suggests that this will be a handy phrase this summer.

French Expression of the Day: Ça tape

Why do I need to know ça tape?

Because you might want a way to describe the feeling of walking down a long boulevard with no shade in sight…or a techno concert.

What does it mean?

Ça tape usually pronounced sah tap – literally translates to ‘it taps’ or ‘it hits.’ The verb being used is taper, which means to hit or slap, and colloquially can be used to seek monetary support from someone. It is also the verb for ‘to type.’ But when spoken, this phrase does not involve violence, financial assistance, or note-taking.

Ça tape is a way to say ‘it’s scorching’ and complain about the hot weather or the search for shade. If someone uses it under a hot sun, and they say “ça tape”  or “ça tape fort” they’re referring to the particularly violent, piercing heat.

It can also be used to say something is intense, particularly in relation to music. It bears a similar colloquial meaning to the English informal phrase “it hits” or “it’s banging.” For example, you might be at a loud concert listening to a particularly passionate DJ – this might be a good scenario to employ ‘ça tape.’

The first meaning, which refers to the heat, is more commonly used across generations, whereas the second might be heard more from a younger audience. 

 Use it like this

Dès que je suis sortie de l’appartement et que je suis entrée dans la rue, j’ai dit “Ça tape !” car le soleil était si fort.– As soon as I stepped out of the apartment and into the street, I said to myself “it’s blazing!” because the sun was so strong.

Ce festival est incroyable, tout le monde est dans le même esprit. Ouh t’entends cette basse ? Ça tape !  – This festival is amazing, everyone is really in the same mood. Do you hear that bass? It’s banging.